Stafford Horse Trials is one of the largest grassroots events on the British Eventing calendar, so members in the region were understandably disappointed when the closure of the event was announced earlier this year.
We are however delighted to confirm that Stafford will be back for 2016. James and Vicky Plant will take over as organisers and have already made major personal investment to develop the cross country course. Work has also been undertaken to lay new drainage above the water complex which will greatly improve the going.
A great partnership has already been built up with the land owner, Richard Williams, who has come to an agreement to secure the future of the event with course builder and organiser James Plant, as well as Vicky.
The organising team has a wealth of experience between them. James is a gold level course builder who has built courses for the Stafford event since it began in 2005. Vicky is already joint-organiser of the long standing Weston Park and Brand Hall Horse Trials and has also been involved with Stafford since its launch, carrying out roles from Chief Steward to Assistant Organiser.
Course Designer Janet Plant will also be returning to design the cross country course after a period of absence following illness. Vicky commented “This is a park that Janet knows well and we look forward to seeing how she will incorporate the new fences, many of which have already been designed and built.”
The Plant family are delighted to be able to keep this very popular event in the calendar and to be working with the generous land owner once again.
British Eventing Chief Executive David Holmes commented: “The number of riders competing at the lower levels of the sport is dramatically rising every year so it is wonderful to share the news that a much loved event is back in the calendar and being run by such a welcoming and well organised team.”
The provisional dates for Stafford in 2016 are 18th – 20th March & 15th – 17th July.